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View Diary: South Korea Makes Significant Advance in Stem Cell Research (210 comments)

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  •  I heard the Korean lab talks at Cornell (none)
    about their initial findings. Yes, they worked hard, and had to do a lot of boring experiments (ones that most US grad students would cry about).

    Stem cell stuff is really hyped. So, let us look at what they have accomplished: well, they have stem cells from donated eggs that were IV fertilized. They can make some lines develop into SOME tissue types.

    But the major problem here is that we want to be able to use stem cells to cure what has gone on in adults (well, children, too). Unfortunately, after birth, we develop immune responses to "not me". And there will be differences in the proteins represented on/in the stem cells taken from someone else than in ones taken from us fertile females who can (in Korea) donate eggs to try to create stem cell lines. So no males need apply right now. Oh, and it probably would require therapy like what happens with transplant patients to keep tham from rejecting the donated organs that keep them alive. After menopause, you don't have any aggs left to donate that would be capable of fertilization and correct development, even to blastocyst.

    It is a work in progress. No matter what CA and MA voters think, it could be a long way off. I don't really think that we want to deal with immunosupression in yet more patients, beyong those dealing with HIV or transplant.

    I am not promoting our country not doing the research. Remember that the human genome sequence was supposed to completely change medicine? We are still a few years off on that one as well.

    Meanwhile, you are right, the funding for basic research by the government is falling off, and we will suffer the consequences.

    •  Did you fall asleep.. (none)
      during the talk?

      Now the Seoul scientists have cloned patient-specific stem cells, important if doctors are to develop cell-based therapies that won't be rejected by the body's immune system. The technique worked with males and females, as young as 2 and as old as 56 -- all suffering either spinal cord injuries, diabetes or a genetic immune disease, the researchers report in Friday's edition of the journal Science.
    •  Never thought I would be arguing this (none)
      with a scientist.  The immune rejection of displayed proteins on a self-made stem cell is probably slight.  Also, as the cells will quickly differentiate once placed in the body, only temporary immune suppression is required, which is quite possible.  Finally, many areas of interest for stem cell research are immune-privileged, making immune suppression easier.

      And I don't know if you haven't been paying attention, but the human genome project HAS COMPLETELY changed how medicine is done.  Perhaps we don't have personalized medicine yet, but most new medicines currently in trial have undergone transcriptomic and/or proteomic analysis during mode of action and toxicology studies, which would be impossible without the human genome.  New potential drug targets are being identified every day thanks to the human genome project.  The human genome project has completely changed how biology is done; medicine is changing with it, and rapidly.

      "Democracy is a device that insures we shall be governed no better than we deserve." George Bernard Shaw

      by Shygetz on Fri May 20, 2005 at 05:57:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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